North Korea Table of Contents
Water transport on the major rivers and along the coasts plays only a minor, but probably growing, role in freight and passenger traffic. Except for the Yalu and Taedong rivers, most of the inland waterways, totaling 2,253 kilometers, are navigable only by small craft. Coastal traffic is heaviest on the eastern seaboard, whose deeper waters can accommodate larger vessels. The major ports are Namp'o on the west coast and Najin, Ch'ngjin, Wnsan, and Hamh ng on the east coast. The country's harbor loading capacity in the 1990s was estimated at almost 35 million tons a year. In the early 1990s, North Korea possessed an oceangoing merchant fleet, largely domestically produced, of sixtyeight ships (of at least 1,000 gross-registered tons), totaling 465,801 gross-registered tons (709,442 deadweight tons), which includes fifty-eight cargo ships and two tankers. There is a continuing investment in upgrading and expanding port facilities, developing transportation--particularly on the Taedong River--and increasing the share of international cargo by domestic vessels.
Data as of June 1993